Study Finds Yes Vote for the Denver I-300 Initiative Would Generate $1.85 billion in savings by 2058

Cost Benefit Study Finds a Yes Vote for the Denver Green Roof Ballot Initiative Would Result in 57.5 million square feet of green roofs, and generate 1.85 billion in savings by 2058 and approximately 25,000 job-years in employment over 15 year period.

Minneapolis, MN: October 13, 2017 - The Green Infrastructure Foundation, a charitable organization that promotes green infrastructure implementation and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American Green Roof and Wall Association are pleased to release the results of a major study on the costs and benefits of widespread green roof installation resulting from a potential positive vote on the green roof ballot 1-300 in Denver Colorado. A citizen’s initiative has gathered thousands of signatures to put a mandatory requirement for green roofs on large new and existing buildings to a vote in Denver by Nov 7, 2017.

The new study is designed to provide information on costs and benefits at both the building and multi-building scales.  Study highlights on the cumulative costs and benefits over a 15-year period, net present value, include:

  • 57.5 million square feet of green roofs on new and existing buildings constructed
  • 1.06 billion in capital investment and $336 million in maintenance costs
  • $445 million in rooftop food production
  • $573 million in savings due to increased membrane durability
  • $171 million in savings due to reduced urban heat island effect (Denver is the 3rd worst city in the US for the urban heat island)
  • $59 million in direct energy savings
  • $37 million in benefits associated with improved productivity and reduced absenteeism
  • $95 million in real estate benefits associated with lower vacancy rates and turnover
  • $38 million in community economic benefits from increased tax revenues associated with employment

By the year 2058, the cumulative benefits of the 57.5 million square feet of green roofs exceed the costs by $1.85 billion, net present value.

“The study doesn’t quantify many important green roof benefits or the solar component in the proposed law.   We used conservative data on costs and benefits from Denver which suffers from terrible urban heat island impacts, combined with studies from other jurisdictions that have implemented mandatory green roof requirements,” said Andy Creath, Green Infrastructure Foundation Board member and President, Green Roofs of Colorado.

“Even with the conservative assumptions, we found a strong business case for the ballot initiative which could be truly transformational for the citizens of Denver in terms of jobs and quality of life.” said Steven W. Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and a major author of the study. 

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is organizing a one day Green Roof Symposium in Denver on November 2, 2017 with designers, citizens, manufacturers and policy makers, to overcome misinformation and misunderstanding about the costs and benefits of green roofs.  Jeff Joslin, Director of Current Planning, San Francisco will be speaking about the mandatory green roof policy they have implemented at the Symposium. Media passes are available.  Please contact Blaine Stand,

For comment on the study please contact: Steven W. Peck, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 

For more information on the Denver Green Roof Initiative or to contact: Brandon Rietheimer please visit:

For more information on Green Roofs for Healthy Cities please visit or the Green Infrastructure Foundation,   

Download the full press release

Download the full Cost Benefit Report